Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Secret: Remembering to Have Fun

I admitted it publicly here back in March when the season first started, but unless you've been following my Twitter stream you don't know the whole truth. I never stopped watching. The whole season. Every week. I knew how hooked I was when  I  logged in to and  started voting. I couldn't help myself. I was addicted, all over again.

And now the morning after the season finale of Dancing with the Stars  I want to avoid the inevitable withdrawal and I know no other way than to digest with you here.

Kirstie Alley was the reason I started watching again and Kirstie was the reason I stayed. Yes, I developed a crush on Hines Ward. Who wouldn't? His enthusiasm was contagious. I mean how could you not smile when Hines was dancing. His energy was palpable.  Besides, the transformation of a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers into graceful dancer is what the show is all about. Not to mention the chemistry with Hines and Kym.

It wasn't Chelsea Kane that kept me hooked.  As good a dancer as she was, as clean and crisp and studied her steps, Chelsea never really looked like she was enjoying what she was doing, nor for that matter did her equally talented partner.  They took it all a bit too seriously to captivate the masses. 

And then there was their obsession with how young they were compared to everyone else. Chelsea would refer to the demographics of the show while waiting for her scores as though your average DWTS viewer knew what she was referrring to or cared. It seemed an attempt to justify just in case she and Mark did not make it to the next week. I never quite got how they didn't see their youth was an asset if only in stamina and flexibility and that an older person (that would be me) would vote for someone younger if they felt them deserving.

I've no doubt that as Chelsea is trying to figure out what she did wrong, not only losing, but coming in third to Kirstie's second, she is still not getting it. So I'm going to let her in on the secret.

This competition is not about doing it right or wrong. It is not just about the steps being perfect, the choreography detailed and learning the dances. It is about having fun. It is about transformation. It is about stretching your being to do something you never did before or thought you could do. It is about inspiring the viewers that maybe they too might want to try something they never thought possible for them. It is about enjoying yourself and letting it show.

Kirstie was my hero this season. There were many who thought she was just one more over fifty woman who would hang out for a while, entertain the audience  with her star presence but never really learn how to dance. Wrong!  Kirstie did learn how to dance. She fell and picked herself up with grace. She lost her shoe and did not miss a step. She did not use her age or excess weight as excuses but rather challenges only she could get past.  She captivated Max to want to show her how, tough Max, known for his impatience and getting angry at his partners. No one could possibly argue that she earned her place in the finals last night. 

Above all she had fun. She took her pleasure in every moment. And she communicated it to the audience as did Hines who took home the Mirrorball trophy with Kym.  

That's my lesson for Chelsea. It is not enough to be really good at what you do if you take yourself too seriously and don't look like you're having fun. And you can do that at any age. 

Are you having fun and enjoying your challenges?
Does it show?


Julie said...

Given that my tap recital is Friday (dress rehearsal tomorrow night) I'm so nervous that I'm not sure I can actually say I'm "enjoying my challenges" but i know by the time the finale ends on Friday night, I will be extremely happy that I did it! (I watched for Kirstie too!)

Unknown said...

Good luck with your show!

Anonymous said...

I think the same thing happened with Pia Toscano on American Idol. She was a great singer, but she always seemed too serious,,and got voted off early. It wasn't a shock to me. Here in Pittsburgh there is talk of a Hines Ward parade...I think the entire City was cheering him on.

Unknown said...

A Hines Ward that sounds like a lot of fun!